Top 9 Lasting Impressions in Dance From 2009

Recalling a year in which cranes became dancers and dancers became stars

Blue Lapis Light's <i>Impermanence</i>
Blue Lapis Light's Impermanence

1) 'IMPERMANENCE' (BLUE LAPIS LIGHT) Four stories up, seemingly lit by phosphorescence against the infinity of night, harnessed dancers floated through perpendicular somersaults like rotating stars. Spectacle, yes, but the pinnacle of spectacle: the creation of an engrossing otherworld.

2) CRANE SOLO, 'THE TRASH PROJECT' (FORKLIFT DANCEWORKS) Don Anderson, crane operator, transformed the machine into a sensitive creature that balletically soared and stretched – with awesome musicality. See also No. 8.

3) 'FOR YOU LUCIA' (BALLET EAST DANCE COMPANY) Sharon Marroquín's solo tribute to the late dancer Lucia Rodriguez was beautiful, organic, raw, and heartrending in unexpected but completely relatable ways.

4) 'FIX ME, JESUS,' 'REVELATIONS' (ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER) While parts of Ailey's signature work are interesting only when you remember that it premiered in 1960, this duet is still stunning, and dancers Linda Celeste Sims and Jamar Roberts beautifully embodied the works' stoic spiritualism.

5) 'BODIES IN URBAN SPACES' (FUSEBOX FESTIVAL) How fun it was to hurry through the city, chasing brightly clothed performers to their next sculpture spot, whether it be upended in a trash can or perched several stories up on the side of a parking garage.

6) AARA KRUMPE AS THE TITLE ROLE IN 'THE FIREBIRD' (BALLET AUSTIN) Krumpe brought exoticism, refinement, and power to the role, making it her own while honoring its history.

7) PROGRAM C, IMPROVISATION (BIG RANGE AUSTIN) Director Adam Sultan and a group of diverse and interesting dancers created a wholly fun and surprising evening.

8) 'THE TRASH PROJECT' (FORKLIFT DANCEWORKS) See No. 2. This colossal collaboration between director Allison Orr, Austin's Solid Waste Services department, and others deserves its own mention.

9) 'MI MADRE Y YO' (DANCE UMBRELLA) This dance-theatre exploration of the mother-daughter relationship by Sònia Gómez, performed alongside her septuagenarian mother, was cheeky and touching.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s, Blue Lapis Light, Forklift Danceworks, Ballet East, Sharon Marroquín, Aara Krumpe, Ballet Austin, Big Range Austin, Dance Umbrella, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

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